PSA: Don’t Run Alone

Last night I got out my old Runner’s World Magazines to search for a 6-week plan to train for a 5k. I found one from April of 2010 and let me just say, it is NOT a couch to 5k training plan. It looks a little intense in preparation for a 3.1 mile run, but I thought I’d do my best to follow it anyway.

So I bundled up this morning and left the house with a watch instead of my phone. I decided to start out with the easy 20-30 minute run, so when I got about halfway, I turned around. And as I was jogging back down the normally busy road, I noticed a red Ford Explorer put on it’s brakes after passing me by.

I wasn’t too alarmed because it is a 25 mph road.

But then it did a U-turn and headed back slowly toward me. I thought Oh, maybe they are lost, or maybe it’s a friend. It then took a turn up a hill and was out of sight … until I noticed the vehicle waiting on the corner, turned around with the engine running. I thought to myself, Something just ain’t right.

That’s when I had to make a quick decision.

There were a couple houses to my left, but looked as though no one was home. If I continued straight I would eventually get to the police station, but what if I didn’t make it that far. Eek, now was the time I needed to do some quick thinking. Like I said, this did not feel right at all.

Right then, a sedan started coming down the road behind me and I was close to flagging it down. Instead, it put on it’s turn signal, slowed in front of me and turned down a private drive.

It couldn’t have been more perfect timing. Thank you, LORD.

Immediately, I ran across the street and jogged down the private drive pretending it was part of my plan. When the sedan pulled up to the house, I followed it. I think she was surprised to see me when she opened the door but I explained the situation. It wasn’t until the second time I peeked around the trees that the vehicle was gone. I waited a little while longer, then headed home.

I darted straight up the hill and into a neighborhood with what looked like, more occupied homes. Perhaps it might have been smarter to have the lady drive me home, but for some reason I felt the coast was clear. Instinct, perhaps? I made my way to the police station and let them know.

This wasn’t far  from my home, but I ended up in a tricky situation near a stretch of grasslands and an eerily quiet road. Honestly, I will not run alone again. So please if you’re reading this and you DO run alone, consider getting a dog or finding a running buddy.

Later today, on my way home from taking my son to get braces. I noticed a similar vehicle two cars ahead of me and so I followed it until I got a good look at the person driving. He was with an older lady. I have no idea if it was the same car, but I took a picture of the license plate. I will take it to the police station tomorrow.

Writing is good therapy and I really had to get this out tonight, as well as to caution my runner friends.

Please be extra careful out there!